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How tough is the Fred Whitton?

rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
I'm thinking of doing this in September this year, using the route map rather than doing the event itself.

How tough is this?

I did the Etape du Dales in May and finished that one (eventually!). Is this on another level??

Posts

  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    No it's not - it's a hard UK sportive but not on a totally different level to others - though Hardknott Pass possibly is harder than anything you'll find on a UK sportive. Being honest it's a great event but I don't think it's a great route for a solo ride - do you really want to be riding on a main road or pushing your bike up a hill after 100 miles ?

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    To be honest on 100 mile+ events I've ended up alone for long periods towards the end of the route. I'm usually way down the field as I've been cycling for less than a year and at the tail end it thins out a lot!
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    Ah well I suppose it's a challenge - good luck if you do take it on. Main thing about it is the severity of the gradients on Hardknott but also Honister, Newlands and the one after Hardknott that I've forgotten the name of.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • glasgowbhoyglasgowbhoy Posts: 1,341
    The Descents can be worse than the climbs, especially on a wet day and wouldn't fancy it when cars aren't as aware of a mass participation cycle event. It's definitely a mission of a route but depends on how you treat it. If you're going for a time then it'll work you!
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 15,960
    rodgers73 wrote:
    To be honest on 100 mile+ events I've ended up alone for long periods towards the end of the route. I'm usually way down the field as I've been cycling for less than a year and at the tail end it thins out a lot!

    You wouldn't be alone at the end of the Fred - there are so many riders!
    The Descents can be worse than the climbs, especially on a wet day and wouldn't fancy it when cars aren't as aware of a mass participation cycle event.

    That is a wee bit silly. Ultimately, Hardknott and the like are probably easier when there isn't an event on as the cars can get past more easily. It's a bit like saying best not to cycle at all unless there is an event on!

    I don't think it is that bad to do on your own - the real main road bit isn't too long and the visibility is normally good. I just think it would be psychologically harder without the endless streams of cyclists ahead of you to encourage you to not give up!
    Faster than a tent.......
  • glasgowbhoyglasgowbhoy Posts: 1,341
    That is a wee bit silly. Ultimately, Hardknott and the like are probably easier when there isn't an event on as the cars can get past more easily. It's a bit like saying best not to cycle at all unless there is an event on!

    There may be a lot less people cycling but at least those is cars travelling up the other side of hardnott and wrynose are aware that there are likely to be cyclists hurtling down towards them during an event like the Fred
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 15,960
    There may be a lot less people cycling but at least those is cars travelling up the other side of hardnott and wrynose are aware that there are likely to be cyclists hurtling down towards them during an event like the Fred

    Honestly, it isn't a problem. Besides, I've not seen anyone 'hurtling' on Hardknott whether on bike or in car. Weather is the only real reason not to be up there.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    Well, I'll give it a go and see what happens :D
  • nickwillnickwill Posts: 2,735
    Hardknott and Wrynose descents are amuch safer experience either side of the Fred Whitton. I've usually found motorists to be pretty respectful of cyclists on these two hills. So they should be!
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    Feel for the guy that completed it ten times in ten days then!
  • Hi,
    I entered the Fred this year but had to pull out due to a wedding invitation. So I did the EdD instead but keep thinking of doing the Fred out of season. Maybe we could do it together. I'm not particularly fit though, took 10:11 for the EdD this year, although 1.5 hours of that was stopped at feed stations :)


    Alex
  • chiarkchiark Posts: 335
    Garz wrote:
    Feel for the guy that completed it ten times in ten days then!
    Blimey.

    I've just read his blog, and bunged a bit to his justgiving cause - Macmillan. Damn good going!
    Synapse Alloy 105 / Rock Lobster Tig Team Sl
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    Hi,
    I entered the Fred this year but had to pull out due to a wedding invitation. So I did the EdD instead but keep thinking of doing the Fred out of season. Maybe we could do it together. I'm not particularly fit though, took 10:11 for the EdD this year, although 1.5 hours of that was stopped at feed stations :)


    Alex

    We're on about the same level then. I got to the end of the EdD at about 18.30 so about 10.45 for me altogether and about an hour at the stations.

    I'm planning on this September for doing it if you fancy...
  • alexjones5alexjones5 Posts: 42
    having ridden both of these events this year on consecutive weekends I'd say the Fred route is quite a bit tougher than the EDD, purely due to the gradients and the location of the climbs.
    Obviously the weather also plays a part and was equally foul for both events this year.
    You will never find a climb like Hardknott without trying hard (Rosedale Chimney maybe?) so make sure you have the right gearing, coming straight after it Wrynose is nowhere near as tough but you legs will be feeling it by then which makes it harder.
    As someone else has said Honister is also nearly as nasty.
    If you plan your ride and your stops you'll have a great day but it will take a while.
    During the preparation I was quite surprised to read various blogs saying the Fred is harder than the Marmotte (couldn't comment on that as haven't done the Marmotte yet-next year) but it is a tough 'un.
    As the organiser siad to me- it is called a challenge!!
  • nickwillnickwill Posts: 2,735
    Objectively the Fred Whitton route is about as hard as it gets in the UK. Having said that other events can be as hard or harder if you do them flat out and ride economically on the Fred.
    I found this year's Le Terrier HC to be around the same level as the Fred. I rode the Etape du Dales last year and concluded that the route was slightly easier, but more conducive to fast riding so that in the end the effort was probably similar. I rode the Dragon Ride last year and the year before and found it to have a substantially easier course.
    Any sportive can be made difficult if you want to ride hard, but the Fred Whitton and Le Terrier are hard however you ride them because of the demanding routes.
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